Bad news for Republicans in Missouri: Congressional redistricting is at an impasse and unless the map changes significantly, Republicans in Jackson County will have less influence in Missouri politics for the next 30 years.
Former House candidate Jacob Turk, (Mo-5) has been closely following the Republican infighting:
A lot happened for redistricting in a few days and nothing happened. It appears We the People have become secondary to the political futures of several players in Missouri politics. What? Let me explain.
First, there is still time to get fair redistricting across Missouri and locally for all of us. Call your State Senator and State Representative to tell them to vote ‘No!’ on splitting Jackson County.In fact, let them know they should be either introducing or supporting a new map that has all of Jackson County in the 5th District. Warn them their vote on redistricting which sets the direction of politics in Missouri for not only 10 years but more like 30 is so important that they are determining your vote in a Republican primary August 2012 for or against them. It is time to get serious. Having no map passed is better than the atrocity Republican leadership is trying to shove down the throats of Missourians everywhere.
Last week members of our Congressional delegation weighed in personally and by phone trying to broker a deal. They favor the map the House passed. On Wednesday, it looked like the decision on a new Congressional map for Missouri would be made on Thursday by a conference committee made up of 5 members each from the Missouri House and Senate. The State Representatives on the redistricting conference committee are Chairman John Diehl (Town and Country near St. Louis), Stanley Cox (Sedalia), Tom Loehner (Koeltztown east of Jefferson City), Penny Hubbard (St. Louis) and Jamilah Nasheed (St. Louis). The State Senators on the redistricting conference committee are Chairman Scott Rupp (Wentzville near St. Louis), Jason Crowell (Cape Girardeau south of St. Louis), Brad Lager (Savannah in Northwest Missouri), Victor Callahan (Independence) and Robin Wright-Jones (St. Louis). As you can tell the conference committee has an over representation of St. Louis area folks. There is a very good reason for this.
Much of the sticking point on the new map has to do with who will be running next for Todd Aiken and JoAnn Emerson’s Congressional seats on the east side of Missouri. Rumor has it John Diehl will be running for Congress next year if Aiken goes for Senate and Jason Crowell will be running when Emerson retires. Each wants more Republican votes for their open seat runs. Now Ann Wagner appears to be angling to run for Aiken’s seat. Also Scott Rupp may be contemplating a run for Congress. The plot thickens. Lastly, Brad Lager is the heir apparent to Sam Graves in the 6th whenever he decides to retire.
Crafting a map that is fair and equitable to Missouri citizens when it comes to their representation in the United States Congress is a priority, said Missouri Senate leaders today in Jefferson City. This legislative session, the General Assembly is constitutionally charged to redraw Missouri’s Congressional Districts based on the most recent U.S. Census data.
According to that data, Missouri loses a congressional seat, going from nine to eight. The reason is Missouri’s population grew at a slower rate than other states in the nation.
“It is especially difficult this year, but the process is extremely important as it will likely be the basis for Missouri’s congressional district make-up for the next 30 years,” said Senate Leader Robert N. Mayer. “It is imperative we complete our Constitutional duty and adopt a map both members of the Senate and House of Representatives agree is the best in representing the interests of Missourians.”
Senators noted they had hoped to finish by a self-imposed deadline of today. Differences in the House and Senate map versions in House Bill 193 are currently before a conference committee. The five Senate members of the conference committee signed a report endorsing a compromise map drawn by the Senate. The House failed to respond.
Sen. Scott T. Rupp, R-Wentzville, is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting and said the map should reflect the best interests of Missourians and not currently elected members of Congress.
Uploaded onto YouTube April 22:
MO House Leaders Discuss New Developments Regarding the Proposed Redistricting Legislation: